The film Ukraine – The Everlasting Present is an account of three decades of independence in Ukraine told to an American filmmaker by former Ukrainian officials. Very often, their views collide and show opposite opinions on the same subject.
The story is built around former Ukrainian presidents and their close circles. They dealt with independence their way, as short periods of stability were overtaken by long periods of stagnation.
One of the most controversial presidents was Leonid Kuchma, whose years saw both ups and downs in the Ukrainian economy. Under Kuchma, Ukraine lost its aircraft and shipbuilding industry and the bulk of the Black Sea fleet. Budget workers weren't paid for up to six months, and the country was on the verge of an economic catastrophe.
This was when the Kuchma government received consultation from the American experts on de-monopolisation, customs and finance. As a result, the country started privatisation, small businesses began to open, and the entire landscape of the city changed. But this all came with a price. Kuchma's term in office laid the foundation for oligarchy in the course of mass privatisation.
What other turns did Ukraine take over three decades of independence?